Senior UX Producer Sam Selbie, explores 3 technologies to help make your brand Planet Positive.

Brands that drive social impact and benefit our planet substantially outperform their competitors. (source #2). 

Consumers trust these brands more, want to hear more from them, and will pay more for their products and services

We call these "planet positive" brands. 

One way to be more planet positive is to adopt better technologies. Here are three that already help brands do more for our planet, and society at large.

 

#1 Artificial intelligence

 

Artificially intelligent systems sift through lots of data to find patterns that humans often miss. 

When applied in the right way, AI can help people and the planet on a profound scale and in surprising contexts. For instance:

1. AI is helping doctors at Harvard and the Mayo Clinic spot diseases like cancer earlier and more accurately.

2. In Brazil, environmentalists are feeding satellite images of rainforests to an AI program to help them track and stop illegal logging.

3. Farmers all over the world use AI to monitor hundreds of factors that affect their crops and so they can grow higher quality, lower impact food.

4. In our own work, we have built image recognition engines that help people assess the quality of tuna in the fishing industry, and improve safety on offshore oil rigs. 

 

An illustration of a sushi roll held by chopsticks

 

We built an image recognition engine to help people assess the quality of tuna.

If your brand handles lots of data, you can probably use artificial intelligence to become more planet positive. (Struggling to find ways to put your data to use? Get in touch to organise a Discovery workshop and see how we can use AI to make your business more planet positive.)

 

#2 Sensors

 

If you’re company has a digital presence, you probably have plenty of data to work with. But what if you’re more old school? How can you leverage the power of data if you’re not collecting any?  

You might need to get your hand on some sensors. 

Sensors are small, cheap machines that can measure almost anything. From GPS position and temperature, to altitude, speed, humidity, and even stress levels, they can help you gather data.

Data gathered from sensors is already used in lots of ways that make businesses greener and lives better.  

1. Farmers reduce how much water they use by installing sensors to show which areas of a field need more irrigation than others

2. Cities use sensors to control street lights and traffic lights, which can help reduce pollution and electricity usage

3. Sensors in personal medical devices help people with asthma and other chronic conditions avoid areas with poor air quality

 

An illustration of traffic lights

 

Cities use sensors to control street lights and traffic lights, which can help reduce pollution and electricity usage

If you want to make your brand greener, but don’t yet collect a lot of data, using sensors might be your answer. (To see how sensors could help your brand be more planet positive, send us an email and schedule a session!)

 

#3 Blockchain

 

Finally let’s look at blockchain. Chances are you’ve heard of it, but maybe don’t understand it. (That’s OK – it can seem very complex).

The short version* is that blockchain lets a group of people agree that an ‘event’ has happened, even if individual members of that group don’t know, or trust each other. 

That ‘event’ can be anything from a transaction in a supply chain, to money changing hands, or digital art being traded. 

Since everyone agrees the event has happened, the system is completely transparent. 

Brands use this transparency to build trustworthy systems which are vital to planet positive businesses. Here are a few examples:

1. Milk producer, Arla publishes steps in their manufacturing process to a blockchain so anyone can see it. This builds consumers trust because they know that everything in their milk is 100% organic and traceable.

2. Last October we launched our own blockchain solution with Breitling which lets customers track a traceable unique history of ownership and repairs so customers who buy them second hand can be sure of their provenance and quality.

3. Global company, Fishcoin runs a blockchain that tracks fish from catch to plate, which reduces mislabelling and waste. Businesses that use this blockchain trust each other more, because the entire lifecycle of the fish is verified and open.

4. Start-ups Nori and Single Earth use blockchain technology to run marketplaces for carbon credits so consumers can be sure the credits haven’t been used before

 

An illustration of a pocket watch

 

Last October we launched our own blockchain solution with Breitling.

If you want to build trust in your brand through more transparent supply chains, then blockchain technology can probably help you.** (Want to understand how building trust with your consumers can help your brand? Book a Discovery workshop with us today.)

 

Wrapping up

 

Planet positive brands outperform other brands. One of the ways you can be more planet positive is to adopt better technology, like artificial intelligence, sensors, and blockchain.   

If you’d like expert advice on where you could implement these technologies (or others) and make your brand better for the planet, give us a call!

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*For a long version, grab a drink and read my colleague Simon’s twitter thread for lots of examples and in-depth explanation.
** Like AI, there are many more uses for blockchain that I have not covered.